Kenny Udenwoke is a Regranting Manager and Twilight Coach at Fight for Peace, and a respected member of the North Woolwich community. He was recently invited to The Guardian to deliver a leadership workshop as part of their two-day leadership training with T Minus.

We checked in with Kenny to find out about his experience, and hear more about his three principles of Leadership:

“I was invited to talk on behalf of leadership of the organisation through a former Fight for Peace Trustee. So I went in and touched on a bit about organisational leadership, but also spoke a lot about my journey in regards to leadership and my three principles. 

My three Leadership principles:

  1. Knowing your fight – in a nutshell it’s similar to your ‘why’, and that is knowing what it is you’re going for. So it’s more of a definitive purpose in what you want to do and it could be as an organisation, or from a personal standpoint – whichever way you want to look at it. You’ve got to have that definitive purpose and that’s where the ‘knowing your fight’ comes from in terms of leadership.
  1. Authenticity – in regard to everything you do within leadership, it’s trying to do it in a way you would do it, through your authentic self. My example of that was when I ran a bootcamp and I had ten young people who looked up to me as a leader and I had to play the leadership role. At the time I didn’t quite know what I was doing, or what it was to be a leader for these young people who are kind of relying on me, for not only mental support, but physical support demands. 

So the way I looked at it I thought, so what is Kenny great at? 

Well, I can relate to these young people. I’m a great storyteller, and I’m funny. Now let me use those three qualities and just play into those. Just be your authentic self. There’s a saying that I left the Guardian with – the person you are is the leader you are.

  1. Changing mindset – being able to change your mindset and look at things not just from your perspective and how you think it will work as a leader, but look at it from the perspective of those you are leadING. That’s how you will know where you can go wrong or where you can learn, where you can adapt; because nothing’s ever one way. 

Leadership looks like so many different things to so many different people. Some people see it as a more hierarchical thing, some people look at it in terms of how you transport a person to another place, or journey. So leadership comes in different sizes for different people. It’s about not having a one-way approach, and changing mindset as you go along with different people. 

Although I come from the youth and boxing sector, which is a completely different environment to the corporate setting, leadership is still leadership no matter how you look at it.

I also find that once we get further in our careers, all we know is policies and processes and that can overcomplicate leadership. Sometimes it’s good for someone from a different background, like me to come in and share their principles. 

It’s not that they don’t know the answers; there are so many points that resonate with them, but because of so many policies and processes it becomes complicated, when really it’s quite simple – the answer’s right there.” 

T Minus supports organisations through coaching, leadership development and disruptive innovation and works closely with companies such as The Guardian. Big thank you to T Minus and The Guardian for granting the opportunity for Kenny to inspire others through sharing his leadership model.

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